This week, Jake one of our Guest Foodies went to the Adirondack Community College Culinary Arts Working Restaurant. Here is the review for the amazing menu they prepared at Le’Bistrette.
My friends know I am a Foodie and know any chance I have to try out a new restaurant I am game. It’s always great to get recommendations to visit a place but it is even more exciting to receive an invite to join a friend. As we all know food and friends are a wonderful combination. Especially if the friend truly treasures the art of well prepared and presented food. One of those very friends told me about how his niece is part of the Culinary Arts program at Adirondack Community College and how he had visited their working restaurant. He had nothing but amazing things to say about it and then proceeded to invite me to join him on his next visit.
That trip came today and it was an awesome experience. ACCs Culinary Arts students open and run the restaurant for lunch on Wednesdays during the fall semester. It is a very intimate restaurant with limited seating, so reservations are almost always required. You step in from the grounds of the college campus and it’s like you have stepped into a classy uptown establishment. The students are going about each of their jobs, whether it be greeting new patrons as they come in the door or wait staff making sure everyone is comfortable and has what they need. Details matter, from the beautiful leather bound menus to the consistency of wait staff uniforms. This may be a training exercise and hands experience for the students but there are real patrons to serve. The students clearly take this very seriously and it was truly impressive.
My friend and I were given the added experience of enjoying lunch at the Chef’s Table located in the kitchen. It made the meal that much more exciting, while we watched as the chef’s prepared food and the wait staff whisked in and out to bring their tables their food. At times it seemed chaotic but watching the students work together to solve issues that arose was outstanding. In particular we were able to watch my friends niece, Emily Mosher work hard to keep order tickets organized and keep the food moving out of the kitchen on to the floor. Building the leadership qualities that will be all too important if she were to own her own restaurant one day. She and all of the others (I apologize I don’t know their names) did so well keeping their composure and working together to move things forward. Instructors were present but it was just in observation and tiny bits of guidance. Allowing for the students to run the whole show. While it was tough to carry on a conversation with my friend because of the noise level, as expected in a kitchen, there were times we just sat and observed what was going on. Overall a really awesome experience and one that opens ones eyes to what really goes on behind the sense. What we don’t see but really do need to appreciate when we are out for a nice meal.
Now it’s time to talk about the food. The excitement of the kitchen experience took nothing away from the spectacular meal we both enjoyed. Let me share what I chose off of the menu and my thoughts. Photos of my friends selections will be shown as well with my thoughts on their presentation.
We started off with appetizers. I chose the Andouille Sausage and Crab Bisque. The color was beautiful and the shredded crab on the surface was elegant. The texture was smooth and creamy but I was a little surprised by the tiny pieces of sausage. While the flavor was wonderful the tiny sausage pieces seem to interrupt the smoothness of the bisque. The shredded crab however was wonderful and much more fitting to me.
My friend had the Grilled Duck Salad with Sesame Orange Dressing served on a bed of Fresh Spinach and Mandarin Oranges. The duck looked wonderfully prepared with a golden outside and tender pink center. The presentation was nice and simple but very elegant.
After the appetizer we were presented with a sorbet coarse of Coconut Limecello. The presentation was very nice, served in a martini style dish. I found the Limecello refreshing and light with just a hint of coconut flavor. As someone who is not a huge coconut fan, I was pleased it was only a hint.
For our main course my friend and I both chose the same dish, the Fall Pork Medley. The presentation was beautiful with colors of Fall. The flavor was wonderful and I really enjoyed the mixture with the caramelized apples, sweet potato and eggplant. All of which complimented the very tender pork. We were both very pleased with our choice.
For dessert we went for different dishes. I went for the Spiced Apple Cider Cake and my friend went for the Strawberry Charlotte. As a huge fan of apple cider it would be very hard to disappoint me with a dessert that includes it. The cakes flavor was exactly what I would want but I was a little disappointed in how dense and heavy the cake was. While it was very good served cold, I would have liked to taste the difference warm and maybe it would not have seemed as heavy. The portion size was a little big for me as well but it didn’t stop me from finishing it. I think it would have been just as appealing in a smaller serving size.
My friends Strawberry Charlotte dessert was very nicely presented. I particularly liked the use of fresh strawberries as garnish. He thoroughly enjoyed it, as it too was all gone.
The whole experience was amazing! I am very thankful for the opportunity to join my friend for lunch and even more thankful that I had the opportunity to do so at the Chef’s Table. The students should be very proud of their work and I tip my hat to all of them involved. I wish them all the best of luck in their pursuit at Adirondack Community College under the Culinary Arts program.
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